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Policymaking for Digital Transformation

MENA Leadership Academy III

The Regional Program Political Dialogue South Mediterranean of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung held the last training for the MENA Leadership Academy 3rd cohort, entitled: Policymaking for digital transformation, in Barcelona from September 11 to September 15.

The MENA region is one of the most digitally connected regions in the world, in the matter of fact, its population uses social media more than expected for its level of GDP per capita according to the World Bank. For over a decade, many countries in this region have been undergoing a remarkable digital transformation where citizens, governments, and businesses are engaging online and using and creating digital tools to foster economy and social activities. However, the Middle East and North Africa region suffers from a “digital paradox”: Despite the remarkable advancements in the region’s digital transformation, this part of the world has been facing many digital challenges such as an outdated or non-existent proper infrastructure for a higher connectivity and a better cybersecurity. At the policymaking level, the region has been witnessing a flagrant digital gender gap, and administrative and legal barriers.

Against this backdrop, the participants of the 3rd generation of MENA Leadership Academy concluded their journey in the academy with a 3-day training on policymaking for digital transformation. The training took place in Barcelona, from the 11th to 15th of September 2022.

To understand the reality of digital transformation in the MENA region, the participants explored several related aspects with the invited digital experts during the interactive panel discussions. They also took part in a 2-day workshop where they focused on workable solutions for the challenges facing the transformation process. After an in-depth comparison between the European and Arab experience in digital transformation, the MENA LA fellows worked in groups to identify obstacles, stakeholders, and solutions towards an optimal transformation. 

The training was an opportunity to discuss with the MENA LA fellows ways to improve MENA Leadership alumni circle and potential sustainable activities.

To get insight into the fellows’ opinion, please watch our newest videos, Alumni Thursday.

 

About MENA Leadership Academy:

Since its establishment in 2016, the Regional Programme Political Dialogue in the Southern Mediterranean Region of the Konrad Adenauer Striftung KAS PoDiMed has been implementing the MENA Leadership Academy MENA LA, which is a unique 2-year program, with a series of trainings that aims at strengthening the organizational and functional capacities of civil and political young activists from the Middle East and North Africa. The training cycle is held in South Mediterranean countries and concluded by a field visit to Berlin. MENA LA consists of well-tailored components to tackle trending topics related to youth in the region and strive to strengthen young activists' communication and leadership skills for an effective youth engagement. Among these topics:

  • Democratic participation through CSOs and political parties;
  • Local politics and civil society engagement in local governance;
  • The role of CSOs and political parties in digital transformation;
  • and trainings on communication and advocacy strategies, digital awareness and project management.

Through four generations of MENA LA, 95 young leaders from the MENA region have not only taken part in the trainings, but they also established a regional network of young experts and leaders. This regional network, supported by KAS PolDiMed, is a continuous opportunity for MENA LA's alumni and the future applicants to exchange experience, knowledge and know-how.

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Riadh Dziri

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